There is a new gallery in Paddington, the Concetta Antico Gallery, 469 Oxford Street. Concetta is originally from Sydney, moved to the U.S. for 33 years and returned only a few months ago with her family to open her gallery. Concetta is a tetrachromat, meaning she has four colour receptors instead of the usual three. Tetrachromacy is the condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying colour information, or possessing four types of cone cell in the eye. About one in 10,000 women are tetrachromats, and I am one of them, too. It simply means I see more of the colour spectrum’s variations than trichromats.
To confirm that I was a tetrachromat, I went to the School of Optometry at the University of NSW and worked my way through a couple of hours of identifying colour variations on numerous charts and palettes. The examiner was 99% certain I have this fourth colour receptor because my son is colour blind. That part remains a bit of mystery to me. At first, I was chuffed to have this special colour vision. But, being an artist (paintingsbycaroldance.com) I then realised people don’t see my paintings the way I see them. And it put me off painting! And it is rather annoying to point out a rainbow that nobody else sees. What else do I see others don’t?
Concetta meantime, has taken advantage of the condition by calling herself the Color Queen (spelled the American way). Her publicity material explains that she can see millions more colours than trichromats. That is not the way tetrachromacy was explained to me by the university, or the various websites. Concetta also says that she paints in a way that allows viewers to see the way she sees by painting in bright colours. That would be similar to saying a colour-blind person could see what trichromats see, which, of course, is not possible.
The doubtful publicity aside, Concetta is certainly an accomplished artist. She paints a work in one session, standing for hours at the easel working in oils until she deems a painting finished. Her style varies from impressionist to the futuristic. Some are outstanding. Others are, to me, lurid, probably because I see colours intensely, being a tetrachromat.
The opening night July 13 was delightful. The Baroque Duo of cellist Kirsty Vickers and violinist Shaun Warden was magical. Concetta’s 31 paintings in bright gold frames showed imagination and variety, everything from kookaburras to outer space constellations. The average price is $30,000 but with some lovely smaller works quite affordable. Concetta has also painted the upulstory of a pair of antique chairs with a price of $99,000. There are also greeting cards and post cards.
Her second show of all new paintings opens September 14. The gallery is a beautiful setting for her paintings. High ceilings and a display of some antique furniture and silverware complement the gold frames of the paintings.
Since one in 10,000 women are tetrachromats, you could be one, too. If you point out rainbows that nobody else sees, don’t worry. You could have the special colour receptors. Don’t rely on the tetrachromat colour tests you can find on the internet. They are definitely not reliable. Just enjoy the extra colour. And come along to enjoy Concetta’s expressive paintings.
The current exhibition titled ‘Vision of the Muse’ runs until August 7. Her second show of all new paintings ‘A Riotous Color Rave’ opens September 14 and runs until October 9, 2019